You are endlessly energetic, intellectually playful, creative, compassionate and deeply insightful.
Not to mention incorrigibly irreverent. In fact, one colleague describes you as “an equal opportunity lampooner of all things dopey.”
And not without purpose. Alumni fondly recall “Rant Hours,” high-spirited lectures in which you waxed irate about technology or society’s problems, all to make the point that they—as Williams computer science graduates—would soon be in a position to do something about it.
Between rants, you treated students to some of the most innovative, most rewarding learning experiences of their Williams careers. There is an entire Facebook group devoted just to the legendary final project from CS 237. This engrossing assignment pitted undergrads not only against classmates, but also against generations of former students in constructing highly optimized microcode.
Student after student reports that your belief in them, your encouragement, and your generosity with both time and wisdom gave them the confidence to complete a sticky problem, a tough course, a difficult thesis project or an entire major.
Non-majors rave, too, about your courses on computer graphics and “Life as an Algorithm.”
Your research takes on important problems ranging from computer architecture to abstract mathematics—and most anything in between. You contributed immeasurably to computer science education worldwide with two valuable, widely adopted textbooks and associated materials.
Aperiodic tiling, reprogrammable hardware, the Collatz Problem—much of what you do so well is Greek to most. But we do understand and appreciate great teachers, great mentors, great scholars—and equal opportunity lampooners.
I hereby declare you the A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 5, 2022